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    Rights statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Theed, R. , Eccles, F. J. and Simpson, J. (2018), Understandings of psychological difficulties in people with the Huntington's disease gene and their expectations of psychological therapy. Psychol Psychother Theory Res Pract, 91: 216-231. doi:10.1111/papt.12157 which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/papt.12157/abstract This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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Understandings of psychological difficulties in people with the Huntington’s disease gene mutation and their expectations of psychological therapy

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>06/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice
Issue number2
Volume91
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)216-231
Publication statusPublished
Early online date3/10/17
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Objectives

This study sought to investigate how people who had tested positive for the Huntington's disease (HD) gene mutation understood and experienced psychological distress and their expectations of psychological therapy.
Design

A qualitative methodology was adopted involving semi-structured interviews and interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA).
Method

A total of nine participants (five women and four men) who had opted to engage in psychological therapy were recruited and interviewed prior to the start of this particular psychological therapeutic intervention. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using IPA whereby themes were analysed within and across transcripts and classified into superordinate themes.
Results

Three superordinate themes were developed: Attributing psychological distress to HD: ‘you're blaming everything on that now’; Changes in attributions of distress over time: ‘in the past you'd just get on with it’; and Approaching therapy with an open mind, commitment, and hope: ‘a light at the end of the tunnel’.
Conclusion

Understandings of psychological distress in HD included biological and psychological explanations, with both often being accepted simultaneously by the same individual but with biomedical accounts generally dominating. Individual experience seemed to reflect a dynamic process whereby people's understanding and experience of their distress changed over time. Psychological therapy was accepted as a positive alternative to medication, providing people with HD with hope that their psychological well-being could be enhanced.

Bibliographic note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Theed, R. , Eccles, F. J. and Simpson, J. (2018), Understandings of psychological difficulties in people with the Huntington's disease gene and their expectations of psychological therapy. Psychol Psychother Theory Res Pract, 91: 216-231. doi:10.1111/papt.12157 which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/papt.12157/abstract This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.